Former interim UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington is getting the next 170-pound title shot, according to promotion president Dana White. And it doesn’t look like White will change his mind.
White announced last weekend that Covington would have his third opportunity at becoming the division’s undisputed king. “Chaos” will take on 170-pound champion Leon Edwards, who earned a majority decision win over Kamaru Usman that night as the UFC 286 headlining act in London, England. A date and venue have yet to be revealed. During the broadcast, Covington called for the match to take place during International Fight Week in July in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Edwards has made it clear that he doesn’t think Covington is deserving of the matchup. And many fans and pundits have come out in agreeance with “Rocky,” saying that Chaos hasn’t done enough work inside the cage to warrant his third title shot in five fights.
However, the man who has the final say, White, doesn’t concur. “Why would Colby not deserve the fight,” White questioned when asked at the UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Vera post-fight press conference if he would consider changing his mind about Covington’s title shot. “Can somebody explain that to me?”
Covington hasn’t fought since March 2022 when he bested Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision at UFC 272. When Chaos’ inactivity was brought up, White responded: “Well, he got jumped and was actually injured,” pointing to Covington’s current legal battle with Masvidal in which he has alleged “Gamebred” punched him multiple times outside of a Miami Beach restaurant a few weeks after their fight.
“Leon didn’t fight for like almost two years,” White continued. “He got the shot. Listen, it’s not like I’m a big, ‘Oh Colby, Colby’… Colby Covington deserves this shot at the title.”
White Responded to Edward’s Not Wanting to Defend His Belt Against Covington Next
During his in-cage interview as part of the UFC 286 broadcast, Edwards was floated the idea of defending his belt against Covington next. Rocky shut down the notion and called for Covington to earn another victory before receiving a shot at gold.
Well, White gave his take on Edwards not wanting Covington next.
“I don’t blame Leon,” White said. “Leon just got through Usman twice and now he’s looking at another wrestler with a funky style that’s tough to deal with. But, that’s it. When you become the champ, everybody’s coming after you.
“All the straight killers are coming at you for the next three times a f****** year. You’re faced with nothing but the baddest dudes in the world in your division.”
“It’s Going to Be Colby Next,’ White Reiterated
White then compared Usman’s reign to Edwards, further stating his point that Covington is up to bat next.
“If you look at Usman and what he did,” White said. “Usman ran through that division twice. Usman’s one of the greatest of all time. And Leon just beat him twice. You’re the man, Leon. You’re the guy. Everybody is coming after you, it’s going to be Colby next.”
As champion, Usman earned two victories over Covington. Chaos is 2-2 in his last four fights, which includes the two defeats to “The Nigerian Nightmare,” as well as victories over Masvidal and former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the weight class.